Seattle Rep Announces Six New Commissions, Including LIZARD BOY, 'THE LOST BANK', BASKETCASES and More!
Seattle Repertory Theatre announced today six commissions that are in development as part of the New Play Program, including an adaptation of Kirsten Grind's bestseller The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual - The Biggest Bank Failure in American History.
Plans are underway for the 2014 New Play Festival, which will kick off the Rep's 2014-2015 season. Programming, on-sale date, and ticket information will be announced later this spring. The Festival will feature workshops and readings of four works in development, and all of these projects are under consideration (in alpha order):
- Braden Abraham: Through a 2013 CityArtist grant, Associate Artistic Director Braden Abraham is writing his first adaptation for the Rep, Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, based on a new literal translation by Bonnie Swift. The adaptation, set in the Pacific Northwest, follows a doctor who defies an entire town by exposing a water contamination scandal.
- Justin Huertas: The Rep has renewed its commission with local artist Justin Huertas as he continues to work on Lizard Boy, last seen in the 2013 New Play Festival. In Lizard Boy, a young concert cellist discovers he has superpowers that seem to emanate from his cello bow. Artistic Director Jerry Manning describes the play as "Marvel Comics meets chamber operetta". Huertas serves as writer, librettist, and composer for this theatrical experiment with live music.
- Jerry Manning: Jerry Manning and author Kirsten Grind will co-adapt her book The Lost Bank, a compelling account of the collapse of Washington Mutual written while Grind was a reporter at the Puget Sound Business Journal. "The Lost Bank is a story that is uniquely Seattle's, and it's a perfect example of the Rep's commitment to putting 'life onstage,'" stated Manning.
- Lisa Peterson: In association with La Jolla Playhouse, the Rep has commissioned a new work by Lisa Peterson called The Idea of Order at Key West, inspired by the poem of the same name by Wallace Stevens. Most recently at the Rep, Peterson directed Cheryl L. West's Pullman Porter Blues (2012) and An Iliad, which she co-wrote with actor Denis O'Hare (2010).
- David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright: On the heels of their enormously successful adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles at the Rep, Seattle artists David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright have been commissioned to adapt Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray for the stage. Pichette and Wright have been permanent fixtures on the Seattle theatre scene for the last 30 years, where they have been performing, writing, and directing extensively at Seattle Rep, ACT, Intiman, 5th Avenue Theatre, and Seattle Children's Theatre.
- Cheryl L. West: Seattle playwright Cheryl L. West has been commissioned to write an original work for the Rep, and the result is Basketcases, a laugh-out-loud comedy about the escapades of basketball moms. Her most recent commission at SRT was Pullman Porter Blues in 2012, which went on to productions at Arena Stage and Goodman Theatre. Other credits include Play On! (which ran on Broadway and premiered at the Rep), Birdie Blue, Rejoice!, Holiday Heart, Puddin 'n' Pete, Jar the Floor, and Before It Hits Home.
Seattle Rep's New Play Program is the theatre's umbrella for the New Play Festival, commissions, and the Writers Group. Under Artistic Director Jerry Manning's leadership, Seattle Rep has renewed its commitment to cultivating new voices and presenting world premieres by some of the country's top playwrights, with a distinct focus on Seattle writers. Recent world premieres under this program include Samuel D. Hunter's A Great Wilderness (2014), David Pichette's and R. Hamilton Wright's adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles (2013), and Cheryl L. West's Pullman Porter Blues (2012).